Roofing Waterproofing Bituminous Membrane

Whether you're an architect, roofing applicator or anyone involved in selecting the right bituminous roofing, it's hard to know where to begin.

Close up view of bitumen membrane applied on roof at parapet

Looking at the different properties and characteristics of each bitumen roof product, sometimes it’s challenging to define which one is the most recommended for your local market or each specific project.

Therefore, we prepared a sequence of questions and answers to guide you through the selection of the correct bituminous product according to your project needs.

Let's Go Through Your Project Step by Step

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1. Where will the product be applied?
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2. What is the intended use?
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3. What are the requirements?
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4. What is the life expectancy?
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5. Are there any other limitations?

1. Where Will the Product be Applied?

The temperature exposure and local weather helps guide the selection of bituminous compound type that should be used: elastomeric (SBS), plastomeric (APP), elastoplastomeric (mix of SBS and APP) or even oxidized bitumen (which is not polymer-modified).

Always keep in mind:

Characteristic SBS APP Oxidized
Heat resistance
< 100 °C up to 140 °C < 80 °C
Flexibility at low temperature
≤ -30 °C ≤ -15 °C > 0 °C
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2. What is the Intended Use?

The top surface of the membrane is chosen according to where and how it will be applied.


  • Smooth surfaces (talc, sand, PE foil): are indicated for ballast systems or as a base sheet in a multi-layer system to ensure perfect bonding of the overlying layers.
  • Covered membranes, such as granulated surfaces: protects the compound and can be used as an exposed layer.
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3. What are the Requirements?

The minimum expected performance requirements must be provided in order to select the reinforcement - the part responsible for mechanical properties.

Here are some examples:

  • Polyester: increases strength and elongation
  • Glass fiber: increases dimensional stability
  • Aluminum: works as a vapor barrier (most indicated to vapor control layers)


The type of reinforcement also defines your system build up, i.e. if the membrane is applied as a single or double layer.
Usually, glass fiber reinforced membranes are always recommended for double layer systems.
And single layer membranes are suggested only for polyester reinforcement heavier than about 140 gr/m2.

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4. What is the Life Expectancy?

Flexibility of the bitumen membrane at low temperature is a general indicator of quality.

The lower the flexibility is in cold temperatures, the higher the durability of the membrane due to the amount and quality of polymers.

Additional aging tests are recommended to check the thermo-oxidizing profile.

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5. Are there any Other Limitations?

What other unique project requirements or limitations do you have to face?

Fire performance?
Local approvals?
Anti-root material required?
Safe to apply?

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